Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Personal tech solutions: Get back photos lost in a crash

I have a Compaq laptop and it crashed and wiped out Windows Vista. I was wondering if there was a way to go in to retrieve my lost pictures. What about with new version of Vista installed?

As long as you just reinstall the operating system (Windows Vista) only, without any of the reformat options. You can also boot from your source Windows CD and choose the repair option, but the success of an attempted repair will depend on how much damage was done to the existing Windows installation. In this case, reinstallation would be your next best option.

Use caution if you use the PC vendor recover disk. Most recover disks also include a reset-to-factory option. You do not want to do that. All you want to do is reinstall Windows Vista. That should leave your photos (and other data) intact. If all you want to do is recover the pictures, another option would be to remove the disk and attach it to an existing PC and the disk should be readable.

If you don't know how to do this, it may make sense to bring it to a service center and pay to have it done. Once you're back up and running, go buy an inexpensive external USB hard drive and start backing up your important documents regularly.

My PC is headed to the shop again. The last time I lost all my Windows Live e-mails because of reformatting of the hard drive. I am trying to find the folders where the e-mails are stored, so I can copy them to a spare hard drive.

Good idea. This is how you find your folder for Windows Live Mail: From within Windows Live Mail, click Tools, Options, the Advanced tab, and then the Maintenance button under the Maintenance and Troubleshooting section. This will display the Maintenance window. Click the Store Folder button. Copy the folder location to your Paste buffer by highlighting it and pressing ctrl-c. Exit Windows Live Mail, click Start, run and paste that folder location from your Paste buffer (ctrl-v) and click OK. That will take you to your Windows Live E-mail location. Then you can just drag-and-drop the individual e-mail folders to your backup drive.

When I click on "Windows Explorer" in the programs list or the shortcut icon, I get this: "This file does not have a program associated with it to perform this action. Please install a program or if one is already installed, create an association in the Default Programs control panel." Is there anything I can do to access this file? I am using Windows 7.

Try this: Click the Windows 7 orb (also known as the Start button) and type %windir%\explorer.exe and press enter. If that brings up the usual Windows Explorer window then at least you know the base executable is there and functioning correctly.

The next step would be to look at the properties of your failed shortcut as well as the failed programs list. Make sure the target is set to %windir%\explorer.exe (check this by right-clicking the shortcut and choosing Properties). If none of these solutions work, you may want to try doing a System Restore to a point before this started happening (click the Windows 7 orb and type "system restore" and click on the System Restore link.

Send questions to personaltech@sptimes.com or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Personal tech solutions: Get back photos lost in a crash 03/27/11 [Last modified: Sunday, March 27, 2011 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. After offseason of work hard, play hard, DeSean Jackson ready to produce for Bucs

    Bucs

    TAMPA — There's no telling what DeSean Jackson will do once he gets a football in his hands. Perhaps that's why a camera crew followed his every move Wednesday while the Bucs' new $30 million receiver stood on a step of the hot tub that empties into a spacious, azure pool at his new, sprawling five-bedroom home in …

    DeSean Jackson jokes around with girlfriend Kayla Phillips at their Tampa home as a crew from HBO’s Hard Knocks documents their day.
  2. Trump announces $10 billion Foxconn plant in Wisconsin

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that electronics giant Foxconn will build a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin that's expected to initially create 3,000 jobs, the largest economic development project in state history.

    President Donald Trump embraces Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the East Room of the White House during an announcement Wednesday that Foxconn is going to build a plant in Wisconsin.
  3. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with critical series at Yankees up first

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Conservatives come to Sessions' defense amid Trump attacks

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans and influential conservatives rallied around Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday as President Donald Trump kept up his public pelting of the nation's top law enforcement officer and left his future in doubt.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions
  5. Jones: Alex Cobb proves again why he's Rays' stopper, no matter how long he's here (w/ video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    If a team hopes to hang around the pennant race, it better have an ace. A stopper. A pitcher it can count on every fifth day to stop the bleeding, keep a winning streak going or flat-out win a game that a team flat-out needs to win.

    Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing the first inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]